Berlin elephants feast on tasty Christmas trees

Berlin zookeepers use only unused, unsold Christmas trees to treat the elephants, who played with their food before gobbling it up.

BERLIN — Elephants at the Berlin Zoo finally got a chance to tuck into their Christmas dinner: a feast of donated pine trees.

The zoo treated its elephants and some of its other animals to the trees for lunch Friday. Before gobbling the greenery, elephants young and old played with the trees, whose strong smell attracts them.

Elephant keeper Ragnar Kuehne said the unsold Christmas trees were donated by local vendors.

"The animals love it. For them, the Christmas feast is starting now," he said.

Kuehne said the zoo doesn't accept trees from the public, which could contain chemicals or leftover decorations. He also said Christmas trees inside houses aren't as fresh and juicy as those at cold outdoor markets — which is just how the elephants like them.

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